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Opening a 10 Year Old Sealed Mason Jar

(51 posts)
  • Started 11 months ago by hoosierpipeguy
  • Latest reply from hoosierpipeguy
  1. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Talking to another member about a trade. He has 10 year old SG FVF that has been jarred undisturbed for ten years. He doesn't really want to try to ship the jars and all which makes sense to me. But he's concerned about what will happen to the still moist tobacco flakes after the seal has been broken and transferred to large zip locks. He also voiced concerns about the tobacco acquiring mold in shipping or dorky thereafter due to the humidity having kicked in.

    We're talking a few pounds here so once I received it, I would want to jar it again and open jars as I smoked it.

    What do people think about his concerns? I'm glad he is conscientious and don't know if a potential problem exists or not. What about me jarring the tobacco after receiving that. Will it age any more? Will it just stay the same? Will something bad happen? I read some info that says once the seal is broken once and oxygen is reintroduced, the aging process halts.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. alan73

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    Offer him extra money for shipping. I'd want to keep the jars closed. There should be a strong seal on the jars.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. hoosierpipeguy

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    That's a reasonable proposal but I'd be concerned the jars could be broken, ruining the tobacco completely and the vibrations could break the seal anyway, thereby defeating the purpose. Have you shipped large, sealed mason jars before with success? How much additional shipping cost was involved? Thanks for your help.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. ashdigger

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    Aging will stop. But the oxygen could degrade it a little. This is why using large jars should be avoided. Having said that. Open it and vacuum seal if possible or just put it in double zip top bags.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 11 months ago #
  5. hoosierpipeguy

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    Maybe we could rent a hyperbaric chamber, create a perfect vacuum, open the jars and transfer product. But then I'd have to repeat that process at my end. Lol Finding a way to ship the sealed jars would probably be best.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  6. balkisobrains

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    I've dropped a Ball jar down the stairs before, and it didn't break. But I would be very concerned about the dorky, whatever ends up happening.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  7. jamban

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    If the jars are packed well, it should all be fine. Afterall, jars are being shipped around the world on a regular basis. Just remember to get a fragile sticker or a few of them on the package, and have it insured. This usually ensures that the post office staff don't play football with your precious cargo.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  8. morgansteele

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    My advice is: be honest with yourself. Is this likely a transaction that you're going to be satisfied with? There are a number of variables with buying aged tobacco. So, think through the failure points. And, if you can accept that if things go wrong then that's life, then great. But, if you think you're going to be unhappy, then buy your own stuff and age it.

    As Spock once said: "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but is often true."

    Posted 11 months ago #
  9. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Some more good thoughts. I believe I will volunteer adding funds to pay to ship the jars intact

    morgansteele, we're talking about a transaction that is less than $400. So it's not life and death. Assuming the other trader is willing to put in the additional effort and make a good faith effort to properly package the jars, I'm okay with the risk. Based on the feedback, it seems like there's greater risk in opening the jars.

    The other trader seems like a conscientious gentleman. The easy thing for him to do would have been to just transfer the product to zip locks and shipped it. Instead, he identified a potential problem and suggested we work it out before moving forward. Astute advice on his part. I'm confident we'll work out an amenable solution one way or the other. Either way, I plan to be in a big tent near Chicago by noon Friday, smoking my pipe, making some new friends and buying some pipes. Given the stupid weather this year, I'm a lot more worried about Chicago getting a foot of snow tomorrow and Friday than I am about a tobacco trade. LOL

    Posted 11 months ago #
  10. skydog

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    I've had jars shipped to me before with no issue as long as they're packed well. I've also got some 8+ year old aged SG FVF I cracked open about a year ago and re-jarred and have been enjoying occasionally since. No issue with mold on that 250g block and it's still just as delicious as when I first broke the seal on it so I don't think you really have any concerns either way here.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. morgansteele

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    Either way, I plan to be in a big tent near Chicago by noon Friday, smoking my pipe, making some new friends and buying some pipes.

    Wish I was going to be there with you all. I'm out for Chicago this year, but in for Vegas. But, next year's Chicago show will be on my calendar. Enjoy!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  12. hoosierpipeguy

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    Skydog, thanks. That's my feelings s will. I've shed cigars in humidor for very long periods of time where I was opening and closing it reasonably often. Perhaps the 100`% ideal situation would be to seal it and leave it. But I somehow think the tobacco would survive and do well by sealing it twice. Not sure, that's why I made the post.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  13. saltedplug

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    There are many ideas about aged tobacco probably because no one understands fermentation. The idea that comes to mind is "smoke all of it quickly after decanting," which would appear to argue that chemical/molecular changes in an organic substance will be reversed by breaking the seal and contact with air, which seems to me so much trash; which is merely opinion as I really don't know. However if applicable then you will lose a great deal by disturbing the jars on the seller's end, even if you jar expeditiously on yours

    But I ask you, how can 10 years of chemical/molecular change vanish in a week? Pease impressed the pipe community with the first detailed information about aging in the early 2000s, his ideas about aerobic and aerobic aging one of them. Once the air inside the vessel is exhausted by aerobic aging, fermentation becomes anaerobic. Forcing the tobacco in and out of anaerobic aging by opening the vessel in this case or removing enough of it for a smoke has always seemed unwise to me. The aging results that we are trying to reproduce is that of old tins of vintage tobacco wrought by anaerobic process.

    But I'm unsure if this means anything, and after some years Pease softened much of what he said earlier.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  14. smokeydogg

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    I would recommend using FedEx or UPS, NOT USPS. It would cost a little more but the service and tracking you receive would be much better.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  15. mikethompson

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    Millions upon millions of sealed mason jars are shipped all the time with No issue. As long as it is packed carefully and properly there should be no issue in transit.

    Remember that the wall thinckness of a mason jar is pretty thick. I've dropped plenty and they rarely, if ever, break.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  16. jvnshr

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    The mason jar in this picture traveled from Pennsylvania, USA to Baku, Azerbaijan intact. The picture is from 2016 Secret Santa event:

    Javan
    Posted 11 months ago #
  17. mikestanley

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    I recently opened a jar of BBF I put up in 2004. The tobacco wasn’t dry but it was in perfect smoking condition. It’s quite good. If you want to start smoking the tobacco, bag it and ship. If I wanted it to stay in jars to be shipped, I would pay the cost and ask that the kids be sealed with shipping tape or duct tape. There is a reason sealed tins are a better “investment “ than bulk...and this is that reason...IMHO.
    Mike S.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  18. perdurabo

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    ^^^I agree Mike S.

    I would back out or pay more in shipping. Breaking the seal is non negotiable at this point. Those sealed jars are the reason you want to buy the stuff in the first place.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 11 months ago #
  19. coyja

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    I just received a mason jar sealed sine 2004 w no issue.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. folanator

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    If we can't ship mason jars, Smuckers would be out of business. Ship the jars.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  21. 5star

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    I’ve received sealed Mason jars without any issues. The seller might even go to a UPS Store, if he doesn’t have the appropriate supplies, and have them help him pack the jars properly. I would ship UPS or FedEx with insurance.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 11 months ago #
  22. cosmicfolklore

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    Jars don't break as easily as people make out like they will. I have thousands of jars, as we can everything from juices to jams to green beans. I have a room where they are stacked from floor to ceiling, and we drop them all the time. They bounce, unless they are empty with no top. A sealed jar, I can hit with a baseball bat and have it bounce around a few time in the yard before landing safely. No kidding, I have done this. However, a jar full of iced tea, falling off the kitchen table breaks instantly. This is just how they are designed, to take high pressure canning processes, over and over, decade after decade.

    If you have a bag full of aged tobacco mailed, you will just have a bag full of crap in a week or so, as the rotting process speeds up to hyper drive after you open aged tobacco in a jar.

    I would never, ever, ever buy a jar full of an aged tobacco, where I am paying anything above a depreciated retail price. Once a tobacco goes into a jar, it's a sucker's bet. Guys who remove tobaccos and put them in jars, do so only if they are going to be the ones consuming it, and to me the idea of transferring from tin to jar just seems... ::cough cough:: anyways. But, I understand it better if you are doing this to share with friends. But, as an investment in the enjoyment of aged tobacco, you're rolling the dice against the House, and the odds are always in favor of the House.

    Michael
    Posted 11 months ago #
  23. whiteburleydude

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    Do people just make up stuff as they go? Like aging will stop when the jar is opened? You need to vacuum seal the jars? So much bad advise on this thread. Do some research. http://www.glpease.com/Articles/vacuum.html

    Posted 11 months ago #
  24. cosmicfolklore

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    Ha ha, actually Greg Pease himself has said many of the same things we have discussed. He used to post here very often and he ran a Q&A portion of this site. He has stated that when a jar or tin is opened that it does continue to change, but not in any predictable way. And, as explained, and experienced by anyone who has had experience opening 10+ year old jars, once exposed to oxygen, tobaccos will quickly turn to crap. To take an aged jar, expose it to oxygen again, and then vacuum seal it has nothing to do with the link you just posted. Sure, it may do something, but what exactly. Even Greg would say that disrupting the aging process is always unpredictable. Best to leave it in the jar until you are ready to enjoy it before it all turns to crap.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  25. cosmicfolklore

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    And, whiteburleydude, if you would google through the forum, we have had many people experiment with vacuum sealing, materials for the bags, and the effects of aging. You sort of just assume that we have no experience, when the very forum itself is an archive of experience.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  26. hoosierpipeguy

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    Unfortunately, I recently bought 7 lbs of SG St James Flake from a guy, 5 years old. Everything was shipped to me in zip locks. It is marvelous tobacco. I transferred everything to mason jars. I guess I better just smoke SJF all day, every day for the next 7 months huh?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  27. saltedplug

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    When you age you effect significant but not substantial change in the tobacco. I have never had aged tobacco turn to "crap" on repeated exposure to air, such as would occur smoking the contents of the jar. Nor have aging's changes vanished quickly on opening the jar/tin.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  28. cosmicfolklore

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    I have had aged tobacco turn to crap, especially Virginias. They go through a slow transition, and it gives you some time to smoke it. But, wasn't it Pappymac or someone had the lab results of aged tobaccos recently? Sykes even posted on the thread. It actually tastes the best after the first couple of weeks, but as it gets close to drying out the aged cell walls just collapse and turn to shitdust. Or, at least that is my interpretation of what was posted. And, in my experience I am always left with shitdust at the bottom of aged jars. So, this is why I only ever use the very smallest jars to age tobaccos in. Using larger jars just guarantees that I won't be able to finish the jar before... shitdust.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  29. saltedplug

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    Cosmic, I hereby change my position based on yours, and Sykes', greater experience with "shitdust." But I question why the tobacco dried out, even with repeatedly opening the jar, especially as it is this that causes the collapse into dust. When I'm preparing the tobacco the top goes back on top the jar. I don't believe the last of the jar is more than significantly more dry than the first.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  30. hoosierpipeguy

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    So I'll soon have 7 pounds of shitdust. Awesome. I guess I'll just use this as an experiment to test reality. I will do things differently moving forward. I guess I'll be taking some bags of St James Flake to Chicago to share, trade or sell. LOL

    Posted 11 months ago #
  31. yaddy306

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    The threads I remember concerning tins of Capstan Flake (from 1938 or something) referred to the contents turning to "shitdust" within a few days of opening a sealed tin. That being said, 10 year old FVF is not 80 year old Capstan Flake.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

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    Hell mark, if you had merely called me first... Besides, I thought you had decided to pay extra to ship it in the jar. I must have missed something in the thread.

    You are having someone open 7 lbs worth of jars? OMG Sweet Jesus...

    Maybe we are all wrong and everything works out great. It will all be ok. It will work out just fine. There are times when the laws of physics and chemistry just get put on hold, and everything works out fine, right? Right?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  33. cosmicfolklore

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    True Yaddy, And, it was twenty year old Escudo that gave me my most disappointing shitdust experience. So, the laws of nature are slowly working out. It'll be ok.

    opened 7 lbs of jars... yep, it'll be just fine... No worries Mark.

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    I think the 7 lbs of SJF was a different transaction.
    I have had 25+ year old VAs/VaPers hold up well after opening and jarring. Some start a little flat and need a few weeks out of the tin and in the jar to really come alive. I haven't noticed any decline over the course of the year or two that it takes me to finish these special smokes.

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    jzbdano

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    I wouldn't sweat it either way they get shipped Mark. If they are bagged and rejarred it will still be excellent tobacco. If it is shipped in jars and packed well the chance of them breaking is very slim.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  36. 9mmpuffer

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    bubble wrap is your friend! wrap it three times in bubble wrap and then put packing peanuts around it. You aren't shipping the Mona Lisa.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  37. coyja

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    as the rotting process speeds up to hyper drive after you open aged tobacco in a jar.

    No kidding...
    I just opened a 14 yr old jar of 5100.
    Bright reds yesterday, totally different dark colors today.
    Not sure what to expect flavor wise, but its alright.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  38. hoosierpipeguy

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    Cosmic, I tried calling you. 1-800-SHITDUST. No answer. We're talking about two different transactions. Previously, I twice purchased 5 year old SG SJF from the same gentleman. Neither one of us gave it a second thought about him removing the tobacco from mason jars, transferring it to zip locks and sending it to me. The tobacco arrived in great condition, it was beautiful long jet black oily flakes. I jarred most of it, kept some out to smoke. It is marvelous.

    Yesterday, I had a discussion with another gentleman here about a trade for some of the McClelland stuff I had for his 10 year old SG FVF. He is the one who brought up the potential issue with removing it from the jar to ship it.

    So one shitdust disaster may have already happened, I'm trying to prevent another shitdust disaster.

    I'm so upset with all this, I feel like I have no choice but to cease working and go smoke a bowl of tobacco. Oh how I hate it when that happens. Maybe I'll load up a bowl of shitdust to punish myself for being stupid. LOL

    Posted 11 months ago #
  39. cosmicfolklore

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    Ha ha, that’s my old number. You can always reach me on my cell, 800-dum-bass. Ha ha.
    Maybe it won’t probably not be a complete disaster, hopefully not.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  40. hoosierpipeguy

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    Michael, that was the next logical number to try, no answer there either. LOL regardless of how it works out, lesson learned. I'm enjoying a very nice bowl of Reiner Gold right now, life is better than I deserve.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  41. mawnansmiff

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    "So much bad advise on this thread."

    The spelling isn't up to much either

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 11 months ago #
  42. mrenglish

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    I have never had an issue with re-jarring tobacco from a previously sealed jar. I have a jar of Escudo that is going on 12+ years in the jar. I open it from time to time to smoke out of and it has never dried out or turned to dust. It is not something I smoke frequently but every time I open it, it breaks the seal. Then it reseals just fine. To this day, the coins are completely fine. I would be more worried about the jars being sterile when re-jarring than it drying out. I've other tobaccos I do this with and have had zero issues with any of it drying out. I've received other tobaccos that were placed in ziplock bags for shipping, put them in new jars and they are all just fine.

    Michael
    Posted 11 months ago #
  43. jpmcwjr

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    My experience parallels Michael's.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  44. cosmicfolklore

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    John, which Michael? Ha ha, two of us with diametrically opposed views.

    I think if diligent about keeping the jar sealed, and if the tobacco was in good order to start with... but, also if you are occasionally opening a jar that is 12 years old, then you do not have any anaerobic fermentation going on at all. The key to getting good fermentation is to set up conditions for it to work, and then leaving it undisturbed. The tobacco may be fine, and it may also explain why it doesn't turn to crap on you. You've just been doing a great job of storing it.

    There is even much debate about what varieties of tobaccos grown and curing processes are best to leave and develop the microbes that actually age the tobacco, among homegrowers. It hasn't gotten that nerdy on here yet, but it is imperative that conditions be met and maintained for actual aging to take place.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  45. jpmcwjr

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    The one immediately above my post. (!)

    A tobacco or blend that's been anaerobically aged for a dozen years should be fine after exposed to new oxygen for the time it takes to open and grab some out. Now, that type of aging has stopped, but it still ages..... Differently. Turning to dust just has not happened in my experience, but I don't let my stuff dry out, either. (Thanks, Mr. Mason and Mrs. Ball)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  46. mawnansmiff

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    Ageing is a thing that no one has any control over as it is equated to time itself. No matter what one does with a tobacco bought in say 1995, jarred once or jarred a dozen times, it will still be 23 years old (as of today)......as to how it tastes is another aspect altogether and will taste different from one smoker to another.

    In a blind tasting, I wonder how many folks would be able to detect a 10, 15 or 20 year old blend such as say FVF if they were presented with an 'anonymous' bowl of tobacco!

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  47. cosmicfolklore

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    I posted this on another thread that was discussing the same things...

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/research-biologist-meets-tobacco-bloom
    It wasn’t a post by Sykes, but he had commented on the thread. That’s how I was able to look it up again, especially since the thread is about bloom.
    But Jmatt had posted some further information about the reintroduction of oxygen.
    However, the topic is rehashed over and over in many other threads, and even in Greg’s articles on the magazine portion of the website.
    The arguments usually have someone or multiple posters with supporting evidence that reintroducing oxygen rapidly speeds up the “rotting” (for lack of a better word), and then just as many people will post that they constantly reopen their tobacco jars to pull smokes out of it, with no harm to the tobacco. Which is countered by the argument that if a tin is opened after a few years and put in a jar, then the said jar is reopened constantly, then actual anaerobic aging has never taken place, which is also supported by reports on homegrowers forums. Those jars wont see rapid degeneration of the tobacco, because it is merely held in a statsis of storage, never fermented, but yet a different type of aging.

    Basically, do you want the sweeter aging process that creates bloom, or do you want the less predictable aging process? Or, does it matter to you?

    None of this is my research, but explains what I see sometimes when dealing with jarred or aged tins.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  48. pepesdad1

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    Having nothing to do with nothing...I just opened a jar of Frog across the Pond that has 5 years on it....really good, seemingly better than when it was fresh (to me)....more mellow>

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    maker

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    the smell of cracking open a 10 year old jar is worth the extra cost IMHO

    Posted 11 months ago #
  50. torque

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    Which is countered by the argument that if a tin is opened after a few years and put in a jar, then the said jar is reopened constantly, then actual anaerobic aging has never taken place, which is also supported by reports on homegrowers forums. Those jars wont see rapid degeneration of the tobacco, because it is merely held in a statsis of storage, never fermented, but yet a different type of aging.

    This is the conditions that most cigars are "aged" under. Fresh air is introduced at some frequency during the aging process. Anaerobic activity is certainly kept to a minimum under these circumstances but the tobacco does change over time.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  51. hoosierpipeguy

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    This is the conditions that most cigars are "aged" under. Fresh air is introduced at some frequency during the aging process. Anaerobic activity is certainly kept to a minimum under these circumstances but the tobacco does change over time.

    That's exactly right except the cigars have some amount of fresh oxygen constantly as humidor.com certainly aren't sealed air tight.

    Posted 11 months ago #

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